Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) have been inundated with feedback from members expressing serious concern and confusion in terms of today's notice (extract below) disseminated by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company wishes to advise clients that due to congestion in the port of Sydney, caused by industrial actions which are impacting Sydney's terminals productivity, a Congestion Surcharge (CGS) will apply to maintain the service at the required level.

A Congestion Surcharge of USD 300 per TEU will be introduced with the following validity:

• Import cargo: for vessel arrival on the 14 September and onward
• Export cargo: from commercial date 14 September and onward
• For Import cargo from U.S: from cargo possession on 8 October
• For Export cargo to U.S.: from cargo possession on 8 October

MSC is following closely the situation and will inform you as soon as Sydney port operations will return to normal.

For further information, please contact your local MSC office.

Best Regards,
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company
FTA / APSA have subsequently made initial contact with NSW executives at MSC requesting further detail behind the rationale for the charge and in particular, as to how an extra USD $300 per TEU will be used to alleviate the referenced congestion issues.

If anything, importers and exporters should be compensated for the poor port performance issues (stevedore industrial action, empty container park congestion / re-directions, container detention fees), not recipients of an additional surcharge which only adds salt into the wounds.

We are seeking more detail from MSC noting that this advice only provides 5 days' notice with potentially thousands of import container currently in-transit.

We will keep members up to date with developments on this important matter.

Paul Zalai -  Director and Co-Founder, FTA / Secretariat, APSA